Foster parent charged in death of 7-week-old child; arraigned


RANTOUL — A foster parent for an infant boy has been arrested for the child’s murder.
State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said Thursday she charged Patrick Kennedy, 35, of the 400 block of East Belle Avenue with the first-degree murder of 7-week-old Daniel Lindholm-Wilkins.
Kennedy was arraigned Friday by Judge Jeff Ford on a single count of first-degree murder alleging that he hit or shook the baby so violently that the child suffered bleeding in the brain that led to his death.
Daniel was a foster child in the care of Kennedy and his wife and had been with them since his birth, Rietz said.
The child was taken from his biological mother at birth because of her ongoing relationship with a sexual predator, Rietz said.
Daniel died Wednesday afternoon at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, where he had been since April 17.
On that day, Kennedy called 911 about 5 p.m., saying that Daniel had been vomiting and was unresponsive.
“Paramedics responded and took the child to Carle Hospital. Doctors determined he had subdural hematomas and broken ribs,” Rietz said.
She said the medical professionals determined that the injuries that caused the bleeding on the brain were not accidental and “required an adult amount of force.”
“The rib fractures were also non-accidental, not caused by the administration of CPR,” she said.
Kennedy had done CPR on the infant while waiting for the ambulance to arrive, getting instruction from a telecommunicator over the phone.
However, Rietz said, doctors determined that the rib fractures were on the side of Daniel’s body, not in the area of his chest.
She said Kennedy either shook or struck the baby to cause the injuries. His wife was not present when the baby became unresponsive.
Daniel was declared brain dead Wednesday.
Rietz said the Kennedys had also been foster parents to the older biological 2-year-old sister of Daniel and were planning to adopt her. She has been moved to another foster home, Rietz said. Doctors examined her and found she had not been injured.
Rantoul police have been investigating the injuries to the child since April 17. Police went to the home at the same time as the paramedics, Rietz said.
Rantoul Police Sgt. Justin Bouse said investigators arrested Kennedy at 3:35 p.m. Thursday at his home.
He’s being held in lieu of $250,000 bond, meaning he’ll have to post $25,000 cash to be released.
Urbana attorney Baku Patel will represent him. Kennedy requested a probable cause hearing.
If convicted of murder, he faces a mandatory prison term of 20 to 60 years.
Bouse said the case remains under investigation by the Rantoul Police Department.
mschenk@news-gazette.com